The new website www.wageningenur.nl was launched on 25 September. Although the finishing touches are still being put to it behind the scenes, we want to know what people's first impressions are. Good move, a new site?
Works at Alterra, specializes in Social Media for Science
'The site is very visually oriented, lots of photos on the homepage, including very beautiful photos - really gorgeous. Navigating is easy too; you choose from one of three core businesses: education, research and expertise. That is an improvement on the old site, which had a very long menu bar.
The site stands out from those of other universities too. This homepage tempts you to go on clicking and get sidetracked. 'How can we feed 9 billion people?' - that is something you would like to know.
I also like the fact that there are contact people all over the place, with a photo - even if it isn't always the right person yet. It is a pity the chair groups and institutes are less in focus and are harder to find. Alterra's institutes are no longer even separately featured on the website. Another point for attention is integration with social media. The twitter account is going well, so it should be possible to integrate it into the site.'
Science journalist with VMT magazine for food professionals
'For me it is important to be able to find the right person quickly - someone who can tell me more about a topic. It is not as easy to search for names and phone numbers on the new site as it was on the old email@example.com. But it still exists behind the scenes, I have discovered.
Pity there isn't an image bank with photos you can just download from the website. Now I have to take additional action- call or email the press officer and then wait and see how long it takes for the photo to be sent. There isn't a contact person for every research. Then I still have to go looking for a 'real' person through my own network or through the information officer. I am happy with the clear blocks of news and the agenda on the homepage. Along with finding contacts, they are the main reason for me to visit the site.'
Chris van der Heijden
Communication advisor with the Dutch society for the protection of birds
'I think the new website is a big step forward. No formal text-based look anymore, but interesting topics presented attractively, yet with a logical, simple search system based on the university's main activities. What I like less is that you first have to click on the magnifying glass before you can fill in a search word.
And then the layout of the blocks is a bit messy, I think. A visitor just has to guess what the logic is. I can't help thinking there is less information available on the new site. When I look at it from the bird protection society's point of view, I definitely find less information and it is also harder to find reports and publications. But perhaps that will come. An example: searching for limosa limosa (the black-tailed godwit) I get 83 hits on the old site and 62 on the new one.'
Secretary of the Physics and Chemistry of Food chair group
'I was supposed to arrange the transition to the new website for our chair group. To do that I went to a meeting where the new system was explained. But it was so complicated it left me feeling dizzy. Then the university's web editors took over the work of our chair group and others, and that was not a total success. Take the photo on our page for example: we wanted a scientific picture, just as we had on the old site. What we got was a box of sweets. What is more, there is the name 'Food Physics' at the top of our page. And that is not the official name of the group, so I doubt whether we are findable now. A lot of things did go well of course. All the old links have been checked and they are right now. The agenda is nicely in the middle of the page and it looks nice again. But there are still lots of details to improve. I shall have to find out how to do that and it remains to be seen how easy that will be.'
Management consultant with Capgemini, often works with Alterra
'From the homepage I go to expertise and services. I immediately see beautiful pictures and testimonials about Imares and the LEI, but not Alterra. It really should be there with the others. Then I start browsing - you do have a lot of nice things on display. With this site you present yourself as an expert and independent institute. It looks top notch, but it could be faster. I would like to see what Alterra is working on right now. Interest in green cities, for example. As a potential client, it is also nice to be able to see at a glance who the other clients are - they are not visible all in one place. If they were I could quickly see what sort of problems you have experience with and what kinds of target groups you aim at. Are they like me? Something else that lowers the threshold is to get a member of staff to blog about current projects. By responding I can then easily make contact with that person.'
Esmee de Bloois
Finishing High School in Zwartewaal, choosing a university
'The green drop-down menu with BSc programmes is easy to find. Then I am on a super-clear site with a big photo. There is a lot of useful information on it, like when the open days are, for example. And the streetview is really nice! For every Bachelor's programme there is a coach who you can ask questions to. And it tells you which jobs you can do and what the admission requirements are. On the site of Erasmus University, information to help me choose a programme is much harder to find. I think Wageningen is a very nice town, with nice people and interesting programmes. But I will probably go to Rotterdam anyway because I really don't want to leave home.'